The murder of George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, has aroused rage and indignation. The executive team and staff of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) would like to express our solidarity with the Black community. No one should fear for their safety, life, or dignity because of their skin colour. No one.
We cannot remain silent in the face of violence and discrimination, both overt and covert, that compromise the lives of racialized or Indigenous people in the United States and around the world every day. This shocking event is one of many local and global tragedies and incidents that lay bare the individual and systemic racism that contribute to the cultural, economic and social exclusion of these groups. It has impelled us to become even more mindful of our mission to fight inequality and racism. It has reminded us of the importance of taking action.
The MMFA is committed to peace, togetherness, and individual and collective well-being. Over the years, we have worked with many partners in the arts, education, and social and community sectors on initiatives to make the Museum safer and more inclusive. Much work remains to be done.
We believe that art, education and cultural mediation are powerful weapons to deconstruct prejudices. Art has tremendous power. It is a means of sharing with each other and of revealing the richness of our world’s multiple identities. The MMFA’s encyclopedic collection includes works by artists from all cultural backgrounds and all continents that collectively depict the dream of One World. This plurality of expression helps us better understand yesterday’s world and today’s challenges.
As a space for dialogue and encounters with diverse cultures, the MMFA seeks more than ever to build bridges between all peoples. Through our wing for the arts of One World, together with our exhibitions, artist residencies, acquisitions, and cultural, educational and digital programming, we are increasing our capacity to communicate to strengthen social peace, for the present and for our children’s future.
We invite all of our communities to speak out. The Museum strives to embody our society’s diversity through our friends, partners, artists, audiences, and teams. Our institution is here as an ally for victims of discrimination. Through listening, empathy and dialogue, we can build a more just society without violence. Let’s come together to find creative and constructive solutions to reinforce our collective sense of togetherness, solidarity, and inclusion.